A Pathways Psychological Services child or teen counselor initially focuses on building a trusting relationship with your child. Teens, for example, are more willing to share their struggles if there is a nonjudgmental adult—other than their parent—willing to listen. Listening, challenging, guiding, and encouraging are tools our child and teen counselors use to help their clients reach their goals. A Pathways licensed therapist will also meet with parents from time to time to gain additional information that will be helpful to the therapeutic process. Some of the many issues commonly addressed in child and teen counseling sessions are:
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ADHD / ADD
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder can include symptoms such as:
- difficulty sustaining attention,
- not following through on instructions,
- lack of organization,
- losing things,
- fidgeting with hands or feet,
- leaving one’s seat at school,
- running or climbing excessively,
- blurting out, or
- excessive interrupting.
The symptoms of ADHD need to be present in two or more settings such as at home and at school. Through and a face-to-face assessment, a Pathways licensed counselor can help parents sift through behaviors and symptoms to determine if ADHD is present or if other behavioral or emotional problems appear more prevalent. If medication is warranted, your child or teen therapist will assist you in a referral for a medication evaluation from a psychiatrist or other medical doctor. It is not uncommon for other diagnoses such as , or to accompany a diagnosis of ADHD.
Follow the link to learn more about our ADHD testing in Golden Valley, Elk River, and Rochester
Children and teens are not immune to the anger problems adults have. A Pathways Psychological Services child therapist, teen therapist, or family therapist can aid in determining the source of the anger and work with the parents and child to reduce, and eventually eliminate, the outbursts.
Conduct and Defiant Disorders
When a child or teen becomes a problem due to ongoing defiance of authority figures, it usually is time to seek the help of a child psychologist or family counselor. Lying, stealing, disobedience, truancy, poor grades, disrespect, repeated cursing, trouble with the law, and isolating from the family could all be signs of oppositional defiant disorder or conduct disorder. Individual child counseling, teen counseling, or family counseling is frequently needed to curb the problem behaviors before they spiral out of control or to help bring life back to a healthier balance.
Depression, Anxiety, and Phobias
Children and teens are not immune to anxiety, depression, or specific phobias. Sometimes anger or defiance are the presenting issues parents see most in a child struggling in one of these areas. A Pathways Psychological Services child psychologist or teen counselor can help assess your child’s struggles and develop a plan for addressing the underlying issues.
Follow the link to learn more about Depression and Anxiety testing and evaluation in Golden Valley, Elk River, and Rochester.
Eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia, can prevent teens and young adults from achieving their potential at school or work at a minimum. In some cases, these disorders can lead to serious physical illness or even death. Eating disorders are never to be taken lightly. If one is suspected, at least seek the advice of your family physician. If confirmed or if questions still exist, a Pathways psychologist or licensed therapist can partner with you to restore hope and healing in a potentially dangerous situation.
Low Self-Esteem and Self-Worth
Given the messages sent out on a regular basis from our media, it is not surprising that children and teens struggle so often with feelings of low self-worth and self-esteem. Kids today struggle with many forms of unhealthy competition. Our culture tells kids in a variety of ways that they don’t measure up and in one way or another are out of touch with their peers. Loving parents, unknowingly, can often reinforce some of these self-defeating messages. A child counselor or teen counselor at Pathways Psychological Services is trained to listen to the negative messages children are repeating to themselves and help them replace those messages with more productive, positive messages highlighting their unique strengths and talets. When their attitude improves, so do their feelings and behaviors.
A large number of parents seek assistance from a licensed professional therapist when their child or teen is struggling with school performance problems or truancy. A Pathways child therapist or family therapist can aid in the determination of the cause(s) of the problems. Some common reasons for their struggles are:
- a lack of good study habits,
- performance or social anxiety,
- feelings of stupidity,
- test anxiety,
- being bullied,
- problems at home,
- lack of attention or focus, and
- trouble staying organized.
Pathways Psychological Services counseling can assist in addressing the root cause before months of school problems become years of frustration for all involved.
Self-Injury or self-mutilation refers to various behaviors an individual intentionally does for the direct purpose of harming his or her body. Self-injury can include cutting, burning, swallowing toxic substances, self-bruising, scratching, pulling hair, etc. A Pathways Christian counselor can help parents and teens address the underlying issues that lead to self-injury and assist in teaching more positive coping strategies for dealing with negative feelings.
Related Reading Materials
- Boundaries with Kids, by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend
- Boundaries With Teens: When to Say Yes, How to Say No, by Dr. John Townsend
- The Power of Positive Parenting: A Wonderful Way To Raise Children, by Dr. Glen I. Latham
- Positive Discipline, by Jane Nelsen Ed. D
- Helping Your Anxious Child, by Rapee, Spence, Cobham, and Wignall
- If Your Adolescent Has an Anxiety Disorder, by Edna Foa, PhD and Linda Wasmer Andrews
- When Girls Feel Fat: Helping Girls Through Adolescence, by Sandra Friedman
- Don’t Pop Your Cork on Mondays!: The Children’s Anti-Stress Book, by Adolph Moser (ages 9-12)
- David and The Worry Beast, by Anne Marie Guanci (ages 6-12)
- The New Strong-Willed Child, by Dr. James Dobson
- Bringing Up Boys, by Dr, James Dobson
- Freeing Your Child from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, by Tamar E. Chansky, Ph.D